THE PROBLEM with West Indies cricket isn’t president Dave Cameron but with the people who support him. I have to wonder if it is a case of not wanting to bite the hands that feed you.
It is understandable why the Leewards will back Cameron in the upcoming presidential elections in Jamaica on March 7.
In the West Indies team, the Leewards have Sir Richie Richardson as manager, Sir Curtly Ambrose as bowling consultant and Stuart Williams as interim head coach.
St Kitts, too, has apparently become the hub for 20/20 cricket in the Caribbean. While some may argue that the Caribbean Professional League (CPL) is a private entity, it cannot get things done without the approval or assistance of the West Indies Cricket Board and, of course, all roads lead to Cameron.
Sir Andy Roberts was the lone significant voice of note in the Leewards wilderness, who stated emphatically that he won’t support the incumbent in the elections. Sir Andy said he was never impressed with Cameron and his handling of the India debacle verified his initial opinion of the Jamaican businessman.
Sir Andy was quoted as saying recently: “I am happy to hear that Garner has put himself up for position of president. It is about time that someone takes the presidency from Cameron. Cameron was never my choice to be there in the first place and his behaviour and practices since have only worsened the position.”
Following the recent CPL T20 draft the West Indies pace legend went on to say: “The whole India situation was a nightmare. Things should never have been allowed to escalate in the manner in which they did. It is a travesty and, as the leader, the buck stops with Cameron.”
That’s a man who, in my opinion, is speaking from the heart from a perspective of conscience and objectivity and not being influenced by anything else.
Sir Andy’s kind stands alone, apparently, in most quarters in the cricketing sub-region.
I mean you can analyse that the Jamaica Cricket Association’s recent decision to overturn a previous one to throw their support behind Barbadian Joel Garner, was based on national pressure to support one of their own, not on the grounds of his efficient stewardship of West Indies cricket since 2012, but more than likely just because he’s Jamaican.
Clearly, the original stance was a conscience vote because they, too, were obviously dissatisfied with Cameron’s tenure whether he was Jamaican or not. They obviously didn’t believe, like Sir Andy, that he’s the best man for the job going forward.
But that’s all water under the bridge now because their 360 turn will more than likely assist him in getting another term.
It is reported that the Windwards and Guyana have also signed on to be part of Cameron’s bandwagon, so things are looking increasingly brown for Garner who has vowed to press on with his presidential interest despite appearing to be outnumbered at this stage.
Again, the question has to be asked what magic or what special, administrative skills Cameron is bringing to the table or what significant progress has been made under his leadership that he should be retained?
Personally, I would think it is an indictment or rather the dearth of leadership in regional cricket circles that the incumbent is virtually on course for another term by default.
Not even his handling of the situation with the Indians has served to act as a deterrent for those who still favour him nor some of his infamous tweets which some suggest lower the office of president.
His most recent tweet targeting fellow Jamaican Chris Gayle is a case in point.
“Gayle goes . . . can’t even buy a run . . . let’s give him a retirement package . . . can’t fail repeatedly and still front up based on reputation.”
Let’s face it, the talismanic opener is woefully short on form and many have been calling for his head, but you would expect better from the head of an organisation than to go public with a tweet like that in respect of one of his de facto employees.
I don’t expect that kind of childish behaviour to make the slightest difference to those who continue to back the president. They see a lot more in him and know something John Public doesn’t.
I hope they remember that, as they say in elective politics, we get the government we deserve, based on our voting patterns. The same will be true of cricket’s regional electorate if (when) Dave Cameron is re-elected.
Andi Thornhill is an experienced, award-winning sports journalist. Email email@example.com